6

It gets really hard for me to meditate when there is something really important happening in my life, something that triggers overwhelming emotions such as fear, anger or total despair. Avoiding them is not a solution, they don't simply go away.

I try the usual method to deal with them (seeing for what they are and repeting "fear...fear...fear..."), but it seems those big emotions and events can block or even stop my meditation. I'm 100% sure I'm not the first one to face this "challenge", so any advises on how to deal with it would be great.

6

I personally would recommend insight meditation, learn the 3 universal characteristics- impermanace, suffering and non-self. Hopefully once you realise such insight, you might question yourself, and ask: In a 100 years times, when i am dead, will the things that are causing me stress today, will they mean anything?

One day,very soon, we will all be dead, and the stress, struggles and fighting through this life/existence will end. The reason why i'm saying this is because it will mean nothing!! Live your life, let go of things you can't change and let go of the things you can change... let it all go... just live and be happy, because one day, very soon, you will be dead and the only difference will be on your death bed, when you ask yourself... was i a happy person or an unhappy person? The choice is yours my friend!

Metta

3

You may try anapanasati meditation to try and help bring about more calm of mind. Here is one reference for this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKFl4E3YhlI

But these fears and feelings and such will resurface through this calm once you begin again to practice vipassana. So while useful, anapanasati may only be a crutch, albeit a potentially useful one. This is no different than being stopped by pain while sitting and having your leg fall asleep and give rise to pain. No matter how intense the pain gets, your meditation will not bear good fruits unless you see reality through in any form it manifests itself. Avoiding things is rarely the solution. An unkempt wound festers. And because you want them to, these "blockages" you speak of wont go away, . The only way to make peace with them and part ways is to look at them and let them be as they are, however they are.

Here is more food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFh7aeq7QaY

  • I feel like I should add to this by saying, be kind to yourself when facing these obstacles. It is alright if you can't sit with them in their entirety right away. Just don't let that discourage you. Try to endure longer each time, within your own capacity. If you persevere like this you will become mindful. – Ryan Jun 8 '15 at 15:31
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I found the advice given on www.vipassanadhura.com (If strong emotions arise) very helpful. Specifically related to you question:

  1. Press the fist against the center of the chest (around the heart area) and repeat "knowing, knowing, knowing," being aware of the sensation of pressure from your hand. Keep this up until the emotion subsides.
  2. If you're sitting, get up and practice walking meditation.
  3. Temporarily switch to a concentration technique until you are able to resume vipassana practice. For example, you might repeat the word "Buddho," or another mantra (a mantra is a special word or phrase repeated aloud and focused on in concentration meditation).

Summary of other advice given:

  1. The emotions are not 'you'.
  2. Insight meditation neither suppresses or indulges emotions. We acknowledge them by labeling them (fear, anxiety, depression etc.) and then return to the object of meditation.
  3. Emotions, like all phenomena, are transient and will pass.
  4. Emotions usually occur through memory of past events and abiding in the present moment, through an object of meditation, is the ultimate antidote.

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